Spanish verbs in present tense

There are 3 types of verbs in the Spanish language; they have the endings –AR, -ER, -IR in infinitive forms.

Let’s conjugate the verbs preguntarto ask, vender – to sell, abrirto open in Present tense and look at the endings.

Preguntar – to ask, this verb is from –AR group

Yo preguntoI ask
Tú preguntasYou ask
Él, ella preguntaHe, she asks
Usted preguntaYou ask (formal)
Nosotros(-as) preguntamosWe ask 
Vosotros(-as) preguntáisYou ask (plural)
Ellos(-as) preguntanThey ask
Ustedes preguntanYou ask (formal, plural)

All regular verbs of – AR group will have these endings with each of the pronouns. The –AR group is the largest, about 85% of Spanish verbs belong to this group.

Vender – to sell, this verb is from –ER group

Yo vendoI sell
Tú vendesYou sell
Él, ella vendeHe, she sells
Usted vendeYou sell (formal)
Nosotros(-as) vendimosWe sell
Vosotros(-as) vendéisYou sell (plural)
Ellos(-as) vendenThey sell
Ustedes vendenYou sell (plural, formal)

All regular –ER verbs will have these endings with each pronoun. There are also irregular verbs that will be considered in the next lesson.

Abrir – to open, this verb is from –IR group

Yo abroI open
Tú abresYou open
Él, ella abreHe, she opens
Usted abreYou open (plural)
Nosotros(-as) abrimosWe open
Vosotros(-as) abrísYou open (plural)
Ellos(-as) abrenThey open
Ustedes abrenYou open (formal, plural)

All regular –IR verbs will have these endings.

There are many irregular verbs that have their own forms at conjugation, but we will consider them in the next lesson.

Conjugate these regular verbs in Present tense with all pronouns using the templates above:

-AR: Contestar – to answer, Hablar – to speak, Saltar – to jump, Amar – to love, Viajar – to travel, Cantar – to sing, Tomar – to take, Trabajar – to work, Estudiar – to study, Aprender – to learn, Comprar – to buy, Bailar – to dance, Enseñar – to teach, Buscar – to seek, Necesitar – to need.

-ER: Comer – to eat, Beber – to drink, Leer – to read, Comprender – to understand, Creer – to believe, Cometer – commit.

-IR: Vivir – to live, Escribir – to write, Describir – to describe, Compartir – to share, Recibir – to receive, Aburrir – to bore.

Examples

¿Tú vives en España? – Do you live in Spain?

Ella lee un libro – She reads a book

Él está ocupado cuando trabaja – He is busy when he works

No pueden hablar inglés – They can’t speak English

María bebe un café – Maria drinks a coffee

¿Quiere usted probar la comida española? – Do you want to try Spanish food?

Tú cantas muy bien – You sing very good

Ella toma muchas fotos – She takes many pictures

El bolígrafo no escribe bien – The pen doesn’t write well

Yo necesito aprender español en la universidad – I need to study Spanish in the university

Question words

¿Qué? – what?

¿Quién(es)? – who?

¿De quién (es)? – whose?

¿Cómo? – how?

¿Dónde? – where?

¿Adónde? – to where?

¿De dónde? – from where?

¿Cuál(es)? – which?*

¿Cuándo? – when?*

¿Cuánto? – how much?

¿Cuántos? – how many?

¿Por qué? – why?

¿Para qué? – why? what for?

*- One must use stress mark with these question words only in questions and exclamations

Examples

¿Cuándo vas a dormir? – When you go to sleep?

¿Por qué cierras la puerta? – Why do you close the door?

¿Dónde juegas al fútbol? – Where do you play football?

¿Qué no entiendes? – What don’t you understand?

¿Cómo piensas? – How do you think?

Exercises

Conjugate verbs in present tense.

  1. Él ___________ una cerveza todos los días (BEBER – to drink) – He drinks a beer every day
  2. Ellas ___________ en la tienda (TRABAJAR – to work) – They(females) work in the store
  3. Nosotras ___________ con la gente (HABLAR – to speak) – We(females) speak with the people
  4. ______________ hablar más (NECESITAR – to need) – We need to speak more
  5. Tú y yo _____________ juntos (BAILAR – to dance) – I and you dance together
  6. ¿Por qué (tú) no _____________ mis preguntas? (CONTESTAR – to answer) – Why you don’t answer my questions?
  7. Anna y Caterina _____________ un trabajo (BUSCAR – to look for) – Anna and Catherine look for a job
  8. ¿Vosotros ___________ un periódico? (LEER – to read) – Do you read a newspaper?
  9. ¿Por qué tú ___________ tantas manzanas? (COMER – to eat) – Why do you eat so many apples?
  10. ¿Cómo ustedes ___________ acá? (VIVIR – to live) – How do You live here?
  11. El gato ___________ a la mesa (SALTAR – to jump) – The cat jumps onto the table
  12. El professor ________________ un sujeto a los estudiantes (EXPLICAR – to explain) – The professor explains the subject to the students
  13. ¿Por qué ustedes ________________ aquí? (CAMINAR – to walk) – Why do you walk here?
  14. ¿Quién de ustedes __________________ a hablar Español? (APRENDER – to learn) – Who of you learns to speak Spanish?
  15. ¿Qué Usted ________________ en el colegio? (ESTUDIAR – to study) – What do You study in the college?

Answers

1: bebe, 2: trabajan, 3: hablamos, 4: necesitamos, 5: bailamos, 6: contestas, 7: buscan, 8: leéis, 9: comes, 10: viven, 11: salta, 12: explica, 13: caminan, 14: aprende, 15: estudia

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